Petty but still…WTF?

As it didn’t look like Chris Chupik would be turning up after all, I finally went back to have a look at the comments at Sarah Hoyt‘s.

jaynsand (who comments here and at File770) had decided to question some of the objectionable statements abouts genocide and ethnic cleansing. That was quite brave but perhaps futile.

Then it gets weird. Sarah Hoyt confuses jaynsand with a regular commenter at Hoyt’s blog ‘Galaxy Jane’, Hoyt then brings up the ‘Fieldsy’ thing and then says about Galaxy Jane: “I think is Fieldsy wife in disguise”. Eventually, the actual ‘Galaxy Jane’ turns up wondering what is going on. I count FOUR levels of identity confusion there, one of which is based on nothing more than a slight resemblance between two usernames.

Now, I wouldn’t mention it but amid all this confusion (not to mention genocide apologism) I suspect we have all forgotten the original theme of Hoyt’s post. As a refresher I will quote the first line again:

‘I realized recently that I have a “hunger and thirst” for the truth.’



Cattimothy House Security Policy Has Been Updated

A message from our Legal and Compliance Department:

Dear User/Subscriber/Stranger/Prisoner

Due to the recent legislative changes in the European Union (a body not recognised by our founder and CEO, Timothy the Talking Cat), we have made several changes to our security policy.

These changes affect the following categories of people:

  • Subscribers to “Timothy’s Big Fun List of Hate Mail”.
  • Members of the “Timothy Random Insult Club”.
  • Enlistees in the “Army of Liberation of Pogles Wood from the Clutches of Squirrels”.
  • Prisoner of Wars from the above-mentioned war to liberate Pogles Wood from the Clutches of Squirrels.
  • The electoral register of Plinkwence-Upon-Avon which was accidentally sent to us by the local dry cleaners.
  • Amazon subscribers (the river not the online hegemony company).
  • Subscribers to Timothy’s defunct You-Tube channel “Tim Talk”.
  • Mrs Sandra Benchwright of Lower Cheadle-Under-Lyme.
  • Members of the UN Security Council.

Our change in policy means that we will no longer:

  • Post lists of your names and misdeeds as a notice in the town square.
  • Maintain in a dark basement a wall with your photographs joined together with lines of red twine, with some faces circled in red marker and others defaced with a huge question mark.
  • Send you unsolicited hairballs.
  • Sell your personal details to the highest bidder on the so-called “intellectual dark web”.
  • Sell your personal details to the lowest bidder on the so-called “intellectual dark web”.
  • Use your personal details and photographs to make a customised version of the popular children’s board game “Guess Who”.
  • Broadcast your name and address into the galactic ether as “bait” for alien civilisations and specifically not broadcast a message saying “Come and get these guys, you can feast on their brains.”
  • Enrol your names as fake constituents in general elections in Belgium.
  • Set up fake Facebook profiles using personal details and setting your personal interests to “I Love Vladimir Putin”.
  • Leak your details to Julian Assange claiming that they are the names of a worldwide secret conspiracy to bring Pogles Wood back to broadcast television.
  • Write your names in blood on parchment made from the skin of a thrice-cursed onion and then burn each name in an unholy fire in a tribute to N’nfarlap the Unspeakable.
  • Type your names into a spreadsheet but then sort by surname without highlighting the other columns first and ferflipssake all the data is now garble, quick click undo, no that’s made it worse, NO don’t save, now we’ll never fix it.

To agree to this new policy you need only respond to the personal email you will be sent.

Apologies to customers who have either found themselves imprisoned as part of our on-going legal difficulties with squirrels, kidnapped by aliens, or become the zombie extensions of the will of N’nfarlap the Unspeakable.

Loved Books: Sacred Mathematics – Japanese Temple Geometry

I don’t own books that you could call coffee table books (also I prefer coffee in cups rather than tables) but this one has the glossiest paper and a cover that looks like it has been gift wrapped.

This is a book about Sangaku ( – a topic about which I knew nothing. Reading about it briefly for the first time, I had one of those ‘how did I not already know about this!’ moments. I also, coincidentally, had money to spend on books! So I bought this as a present to myself.

The concept is/was that geometry problems or solutions to problems as a temple offering. How delightful is that! It’s symbolic but also requires personal effort, so it has many aspects of a kind of ritual sacrifice or penance (to cast in Western religious terms) but also very meaningful in other ways.

The idea of mathematics as belonging primarily with the sciences and materialist domains is a relatively new one. Sangaku is just one example of how mathematics often intersects with spiritual aspect of human inquiry as well as aesthetic ones.

Dear Chris Chupik

Hi Christopher. I see from your comment at Sarah Hoyt’s blog that you’ve seen my post and I can see that you have at least scrolled past the comments in question.

I’m genuinely interested in what you think of them. Feel free to comment to this post. I’ll ask others that comment here usually not to reply so that there won’t be a dogpile of comments.

[Dear regular readers – if Chris does reply, please don’t reply to his comment, so that he gets a chance to explain what he thinks is going on in those comments.]

How easily people talk themselves into proposing genocide

Some caveats to start with:

  • A comment section does not represent the views of the host of a blog in any consistent way. Some hosts are more lenient, some less so.
  • Discussion can go to strange places and without context, an isolated comment may look quite different.
  • People can speculate about the possible behaviour of others without necessarily endorsing that behaviour. For example, somebody might talk about the circumstances in which North Korea might use a nuclear weapon but expect readers to understand that this would be a bad thing that they don’t want to happen.
  • People sometimes make dark jokes about terrible things.
  • Sometimes translated comments or comments made in a second or unfamiliar language may not represent what a person is actually trying to say.

There are secondary ethical questions around each of these. I’ll let readers decide whether any of those apply in the situation I’m discussing.

After the fold, I’m going to discuss some comments on a blog I often look at somewhat adversarially.  Before that, a content warning about what appears to be very disturbing comments aimed at Roma people – an ethnic minority in Europe (primarily) that is subjected to on-going racism and harassment as well as a long history of being subjected to violence and attempted extermination. The comments vary from what is apparent casual racism and stereotyping to extreme proposals including genocide.

Continue reading “How easily people talk themselves into proposing genocide”